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Neighbors of DuPage

Author John McManus to speak July 6

Jun 22, 2016 09:18AM ● By Neighbors Magazines

Wheaton, Ill., June 21, 2016 — The First Division Museum at Cantigny Park welcomes author and military historian Dr. John C. McManus on Wednesday, July 6. He will discuss “Hell Before Their Very Eyes,” his book about the American soldiers who liberated the Nazi concentration camps of World War II.

The free program begins at 7:30 pm at the Cantigny Park Visitors Center and all are invited. Parking also is complimentary for this event.

In his book, published in 2015, McManus sheds new light on this often-overlooked aspect of the Holocaust. Drawing on archival sources and thousands of firsthand accounts—including unit journals, interviews, oral histories, memoirs, diaries, letters and published recollections―“Hell Before Their Very Eyes” examines the horrific experience of entering the confines of Germany’s Ohrdruf, Buchenwald and Dachau camps in April 1945.

McManus visited Cantigny in 2014 to discuss “The Dead and Those About to Die,” his volume about the 1st Infantry Division’s heroic actions on D-Day. He is a prolific author and professor of military history at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. McManus earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Missouri and a Ph.D. in American and military history from the University of Tennessee.

Copies of “Hell Before Their Very Eyes” will be available for purchase in the Cantigny Shop the evening of July 6. Doors open at 6:30 pm. A cash bar will accompany a limited food menu. Coffee is complimentary.

This event is part of the First Division Museum’s Date with History, a monthly series featuring lively discussions with authors, panelists, historians and special guests. Information about upcoming programs is online at


About the First Division Museum

The First Division Museum at Cantigny Park, part of Robert R. McCormick Foundation, promotes public learning about America’s military heritage and affairs through the history of the “Big Red One”—the famed 1st Infantry Division of the U.S. Army. The museum’s main exhibit hall transports visitors to the trenches of World War I, the beaches of World War II, and the jungles of Vietnam. Outside, tanks are displayed from every era, along 2 with artillery pieces and a personnel carrier. The Robert R. McCormick Research Center, open to the public, houses the museum’s library, archival, and photo collections. In November 2016 the First Division Museum will begin a major redesign, reopening in August 2017 with new, updated exhibits highlighting the Division's activity since the Vietnam era. Visit the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park online at